Elon Musk attacks Biden’s unrealized gains tax — as his wealth soars



Tesla CEO Elon Musk slammed President Joe Biden’s proposed tax on billionaires’ unrealized gains, which would target ultra-wealthy entrepreneurs like Musk and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Musk — who saw his wealth soar Monday by more than $36 billion to bring his net worth to a whopping $289 billion — attacked the Democrat tax plan on Twitter Monday evening.

Responding to a tweet that urged people to write to their political representatives in protest of the proposal, Musk said, “Exactly. Eventually, they run out of other people’s money and then they come for you.”

The proposal, which would likely apply to less than 1,000 of the nation’s wealthiest citizens, would tax unrealized gains on billionaires’ assets, like stocks and real estate. People’s ownership in stocks is currently only taxed when they decide to sell.

Republicans have long opposed such a tax plan, saying that it would create a huge bureaucracy and disincentive investment.

Musk, whose wealth is almost entirely based on his ownership of stock in his companies, Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring Company, would be particularly vulnerable to the tax plan.

Earlier this year, leaked tax documents obtained by ProPublica showed that Musk, Bezos and other billionaires largely avoided paying taxes by keeping most of their wealth tied up in stocks.

U.S. President Joe Biden
President Biden’s plan would target ultra-wealthy entrepreneurs like Musk and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos,
Melina Mara/The Washington Post/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Musk has previously responded to that investigation, calling it “very misleading” and saying that he does not “actually draw a salary” from his companies.

“My cash compensation is basically zero,” Musk said in September at Vox Media’s Code Conference.

He added that much of his wealth is tied up in stock options in his companies, which give him the right to buy or sell shares of Tesla and his other companies at a set price.

“I have a bunch of options that are expiring next year, so a huge block of options will sell in [the fourth quarter of 2021]—they’ll have to, or they’ll expire.”

Elon Musk Tesla
Elon Musks’ Tesla has been a hot stock in recent years.
Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

When he does sell those shares, he said he will pay a “top marginal tax rate of 53 percent,” with that rate climbing to 57 percent next year.

“The majority of what [stock options] I sell will be taxed,” he said.

Tesla has been among the hottest stocks on the market in recent years. The stock’s up almost 2,500 percent over the past five years.

On Monday, the company’s total value shot past $1 trillion for the first time after Hertz placed a major order for 100,000 of the electric cars.


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